It's snorkel time!
The reports came in like crazy on Tuesday and it probably won't be any different today. PowderAlert #8 was, or rather still is, ON and there's still more to come. PowderAlert #9 could just be the deepest of this winter. Something not to miss. A brief summary:
up to 50 centimeter of freshies
Wednesday will be sunny
superstorm Mischka = Northwest Stau!
120-170 centimeter of freshies
It's already deep: up to 70 centimeter of freshies
After the snow from the weekend another 20-70 cm of freshies came down in the northern Alps on Monday morning. Most snow came down in the pre-Alps. This makes a total of 40-110 centimeters in the French Northern Alps and the rest of the northern Alps in the last four days. In particular the pre-Alps did well. A great base for what is to come, and a very good amount to ride some freshies today. A quick impression:
Sunny on Wednesday
High pressure are Friederike causes a sunny Wednesday in the entire Alps. More to the east, there are a few flakes coming down in the morning, but even there the sun will come out eventually. With the fresh snow that came down in recent days in the northern Alps the freeride is pretty good. And there's much more snow to come!
Where to go?
From today till Thursday. It will be ON, starting on Wednesday morning.
Storm Mischka is not coming in one, not even two, but no less than three disguises. Not that the storm is super deep, but the fact that it shows up with three cores of about 970 mbar and the sheer magnitude makes Mischka a storm that we will remember. A storm that a will leave a significant mark on the winter in the Alps. How was it again: late northern winters are better... Well, it appears that this is true. Because we have to dig deep into our archives to find a storm that brought so much snow to the French Alps and the northern Alps. Anyway ... here it is: NORTHWESTERN STAU! You better be ready!
The first high clouds can already be seen in the west on Wednesday and it begins to snow in the northwest and north of the Alps in the night to Thursday. From Grenoble to Styria it will snow heavily and later on Thursday it will even spread to the east of the Southern Alps East (expect 10-35 cm of freshies). A second front will follow in the night to Friday. This front is more powerful and not only brings snow from Grenoble to Styria, but even snow to the northwest of the French Southern Alps (expect 10-25 cm of freshies). In the night to Saturday and Saturday itself will follow a third front with snow this time is especially for the Haute Savoie, the pre-Alps of the Isère and Savoie and Lower Valais. Until Saturday night I expect on the following amounts of snow:
Wetern Alps North(75-145 centimeter)
Western Alps Central (50-125 centimeter)
Northern Alps West (50-125 centimeter)
Northern Alps Central(30-80 centimeter)
More snow after Saturday
The fun doesn't end on Saturday. It will keep on snowing until late next week. Initially, especially in the French Northern Alps and the rest of the northern Alps. Later in the week probably in the rest of the Alps as well, but by then we can get ready for PowderAlert #10. The maps are clear for this weekend. Go west (especially northwest) or go north. The precipitation will be intense between Thursday and Sunday, and we can expect around 120-170 centimeters in the most precipitous areas to Sunday. This weekend becomes a weekend for the better tree runs. Forget the terrain above the tree line. Way too dangerous. Choose areas with trees where there aren't any steep slopes above you!
Avalanche danger up to 4? (or even 5)
With such quantities of fresh snow the traditional changeover (Saturday) will be a challenge (to say at least) in parts of Switzerland and France. Consider snowbound roads, possibly even closed roads, idiots with summer tires and rattling chains going upwards or downwards, closed lifts etc .. It pays to be in an area before the dump. Make sure you are mobile and please note that parts of the ski area probably will be closed. If you go to the Alps the coming days, please be alert. Check your local daily avalanche bulletin, make sure you have the right gear with you and that you have the right knowledge. No knowledge? Are you not sure? Say no to off piste and wait for conditions to improve. The season is still long.
Uberdeep in the Pyrenees
The snow maps are also showing it. Between Thursday and Sunday, it will be uberdeep in the Pyrenees. Especially in the northwest of the Pyrenees it will be on. Keep a swift increase in the avalanche danger and big crowds during the weekend in mind. It will remain cold after the weekend and there's more snow coming.
There's plenty of powder to be found. Both in the short term, but also this weekend. Go for the trees. Sager than the high alpine and less crowded.
More tomorrow. Stay stoked!